Keroncong music is an eternal legend

Once upon a time, Keroncong music was a traditional form of music that originated in the island of Java, Indonesia. However, over time, the music underwent a transformation and emerged as a popular music genre in Indonesia and other parts of the world.

During the colonial period in Indonesia, Keroncong was introduced to the Dutch communities by the local musicians. The music soon became popular among the Dutch and European communities in Java. The Dutch then began to incorporate their music style and harmonies in the Keroncong, changing its original sound.

In the 1920s, a man named Gesang Martohartono, a Javanese musician, further developed Keroncong music by adding western instruments and harmonies to the traditional Keroncong melodies. He was the first musician to introduce the ukulele to Keroncong music, adding a unique sound to its already beautiful melodies.

The addition of western instruments and harmonies attracted a wider audience and Keroncong music became a popular genre not only in Java but throughout Indonesia. The music was played in clubs, parks, and other recreational areas. Famous Indonesian singers, such as Bing Slamet and Elly Kasim, also performed Keroncong music, which helped in its popularity.

Today, Keroncong music is still loved by many Indonesians and is played at various cultural events and festivals. It has also been modernized by contemporary musicians and incorporated into different genres of music, such as pop, jazz, and rock. The development of Keroncong music depicts the beautiful evolution of traditional music, showing how it can be transformed to meet the changing preferences of generations.

Emma-Keroncong music is an eternal legend
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How is it progressing?

Keroncong music is still progressing in Indonesia, with new musicians and bands emerging every year, bringing new flavors and interpretations to the music genre. Some musicians are keeping the traditional instruments while others are incorporating new instruments and creating a fusion with other genres.

One band, known as Orion Keroncong, is an example of a group that has been successful in introducing Keroncong to younger generations. They have incorporated electric guitars and modern drum sets, which add a modern touch to traditional Keroncong music.

Keroncong music arrangements can also be heard in mainstream pop songs in Indonesia, such as in the works of local artists like Glenn Fredly, Yura Yunita, and Raisa. This has helped in keeping the Keroncong music genre alive and relevant to the modern generation.

In addition, there are annual Keroncong festivals held in various parts of Indonesia, showcasing the talents of musicians, old and new, as well as educating the public about the history and importance of Keroncong music.

Overall, the progression of Keroncong music in Indonesia shows that it is still relevant and cherished by many, as it continues to evolve and adapt to changing times while maintaining its traditional roots.

The musical instrumen used are

The musical instruments used in Keroncong music generally consist of a combination of Eastern and Western instruments. Some of the traditional instruments used in Keroncong music include:

1. Violin 

It is the main instrument of Keroncong music, and its melodies provide the pleasant and soothing sound of the music.

 2. Cello 

It is used to complement the sounds of the violin and adds a rich depth to the music.

3. Ukulele 

It was first introduced by Gesang Martohartono in the 1920s, and its use has become an essential part of Keroncong music.

4. Guitar 

It is often used as a rhythm instrument to complement the sounds of the violin and cello.

5. Bamboo flute 

It is occasionally used to provide the melodies and add a unique sound to the music.

Over time, modern instrumentalists have also started experimenting and incorporating Western instruments like the electric guitar, drum set, and keyboard into the traditional Keroncong music arrangement. The use of modern instruments has led to the creation of a fusion genre known as “Pop Keroncong”.

Emma-Keroncong music is an eternal legend
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Is it Still Relevant Till Now?

Yes of course, Keroncong music is still relevant in Indonesia today. It is considered one of the country's national treasures and an essential part of its cultural heritage. Keroncong music has undergone various transformations over the years to remain relevant and appealing to younger generations.

In modern times, several musicians and bands continue to perform Keroncong music, both in its traditional and modern forms. The popularity of Keroncong has also spread outside Indonesia, and there are now Keroncong musicians, enthusiasts, and communities across the world.

Moreover, Keroncong music is often performed in cultural events, festivals, and concerts, promoting Indonesia's cultural heritage and identity. It has become an essential tool for promoting unity and national identity among Indonesians.

Overall, Keroncong music continues to play an essential role in Indonesia's cultural heritage and identity and remains relevant and cherished by many Indonesians, young and old.


Keroncong music is a unique form of music that originated in Indonesia, and it continues to be a vital part of the country's cultural heritage. Keroncong music uses a combination of traditional Eastern and Western instruments to create a beautiful and soothing melody that has captured the attention of people all over the world. 

The music has undergone various transformations to remain relevant to younger generations, and it continues to be performed during cultural events and festivals. Keroncong music plays an essential role in promoting Indonesia's cultural identity and unity among Indonesians. Therefore, Keroncong music remains a significant part of Indonesia's cultural heritage and still relevant today.

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